City cracking down on nuisance properties, hires two officers - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

City cracking down on nuisance properties, hires two officers

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The view from Bill Ellis' front yard is not what it was 20 years ago, but it's something he's learned to live with for the last several months.

"I see garbage. Nasty," he said describing the Metropolis, Illinois, lot across the street.

He said the man who used to live there left it a mess. Ellis isn't shy about what he wants to see happen to it. "The city ought to come in here and clean it up and fine the living devil out of them," he told Local 6.

Ellis isn't the only one fed up with the properties. This spring, the city hired two officers to enforce the city's nuisance ordinance and it's keeping them busy. "That is one of the biggest complaints, is like 'The guy across the street from me, the guy next door to me, won't take care of his property, and it makes mine look bad,'" said abatement officer Dave Koch.

The nuisance ordinance has been on the books for years, but a couple months ago the city started to recognize several properties were quickly becoming too much to handle. Not only do they become home to wild animals, but Koch said children often play inside. "It's a hazard to them. It's a hazard to anybody who walks by. Something could cave in," he said.

Which is why Ellis wants a bulldozer brought in to keep the kids and animals away. "It ruins the look of the city, people driving by looking at that mess," Ellis said. 

Homeowners can be fined $50 if they do not follow the city's orders.  The city can even require homeowners to appear in court and may clean up the property and bill the owner.

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